Tonight marks the 30th Royal Rumble in history and for once in the last few years, I can undoubtedly say that the winner of the Royal Rumble match is not entirely predictable and can go to a bunch of different people. That being said join me in previewing the 30th annual Royal Rumble show and let’s look at the possibilities on who can win.
NIA JAX VS SASHA BANKS
The pre-show is for stars who are still rising up and need a spot on the card but they don’t have room on the main show. That being said why are Sasha Banks and Nia Jax on the pre-show? After Sasha lost her match against Charlotte at Roadblock: End of the Line she moved into a program with Nia Jax after Jax attacked her on Raw. For weeks these two have been trading assaults and this is where we finally get a nice grudge match but why on the pre-show? This may not be the hottest feud but Banks is a 3-time Raw Women’s Champion and Nia Jax has only lost a handful of matches since coming to the main roster so why not give them a spot on the main card? Banks and Jax are both good wrestlers so this match should definitely impress the audience.
STF Predicts: 7-2 in favor of Nia Jax
Sheamus and Cesaro (C) vs The Club – Raw Tag Team Titles
Up next are the Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro defending against The Club Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. A few weeks ago on Raw, they gave us a Dusty finish when The Club appeared to beat Sheamus and Cesaro but since Sheamus hit the ref he called a DQ and Sheamus and Cesaro retained so to make up for it, they have decided to have a rematch for the belts but have two referees in this match. It’s something that hasn’t been done before and with the skill all 4 men have this should turn out to be a great match.
STF Predicts: 7-2 in favor of Sheamus and Cesaro
SMACKDOWN FACES VS SMACKDOWN HEELS
The third and final pre-show match is the Smackdown Faces, Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, and the returning Naomi facing the Smackdown Heels, Natalya, Alexa Bliss and the also returning Mickie James. All of these women have been having back and forths with each other so naturally WWE stuck the faces in a match versus all the heels. Nattie and Nikki have had their problems the last few months and the other four have all intertwined into a big rivalry so why not? This is a reasonable pre-show match that gives them something to do. I don’t see James losing her return match to the company but this match can go any number of ways so this will be interesting to see.
STF Predicts: 7-2 in favor of the Smackdown Heel’s
RICH SWANN (C) VS NEVILLE
Now we move on to the main card and the first match being Rich Swann vs Neville for the Cruiserweight Championship. Neville has been a beast since his return and winning the belt tonight would solidify this and make for great TV on Raw. Rich Swann is one hell of an entertaining wrestler and has been on a roll with the belt but Neville winning is definitely the way to go and it will be quite refreshing to see him with his first belt since coming up from NXT and effectively doing nothing since then.
STF Predictions: 9-0 in favor of Neville
CHARLOTTE (C) VS BAYLEY – RAW WOMEN’S TITLE
Much like Neville, Bayley is another person who hasn’t done a lot since coming up from NXT. She was beloved in NXT but she’s been pretty lackluster since coming up. Bayley claimed her number one contender spot due to having two previous wins over Charlotte and after beating her again on Raw made it 3. She had it revoked due to an apparent kick out by Charlotte the ref didn’t see and then lost the rematch due to Dana Brooke being the special ref. The following week Bayley would pin Nia Jax in a number one contender’s match and handing Jax her first loss on Raw and making her next in line. Charlotte would keep playing mind games in the following weeks to try and psych out Bayley and we will see tonight if she actually did.
STF Predicts: 8-1 in favor of Charlotte
KEVIN OWENS (C) VS ROMAN REIGNS – UNIVERSAL TITLE
Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns, and no this isn’t Raw, for the Universal Title is happening again. This time Chris Jericho is inside a shark cage so that’s new. If you are just a casual fan that might seem odd but yes one of the greatest wrestlers and legends of all time is being forced into a shark cage for the match so he doesn’t interfere despite this being a no DQ match. This rivalry has been going on for a few months and after constant interference from Jericho this does make sense to do but we already saw it months prior in NXT when TM-61 faced the new NXT Tag Team Champions Authors of Pain so it’s not something new and it’s still fresh in our mind having only happened months prior. Hopefully, WWE makes the right choice and makes this the final installment in the Reigns vs Owens book.
STF Predicts: 5-4 in favor of Kevin Owens
AJ STYLES (C) VS JOHN CENA – WWE TITLE
We’ve seen it before but not since Summer Slam so this feels fresh and they are both phenomenal wrestlers so you won’t hear a complaint from me, but we have AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship against John Cena. John Cena was gone for several months filming American Grit Season 2 and came back on the December 27th episode of Smackdown saying he’s challenging whoever won the WWE Title match that same night between Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, and AJ Styles to a match at the Royal Rumble. AJ Styles would win the match and the two would have a contract signing the following week on January 3rd. You might be asking why Cena gets to leave for months at a time and immediately come back and challenge for the title and the simple answer is that he’s John Cena and does what he damn well pleases. Cena said it himself on Smackdown Live and it will always be true until the day he retires. Can John Cena capture his 15th world title? Only tomorrow will tell.
STF Predicts: 5-4 in favor of John Cena
THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH
Every year the WWE Universe looks forward to the Royal Rumble match and for the first time in a few years, the Rumble match this year is actually unpredictable. Now when I say unpredictable, clearly we have a few people who can win, but with so many options it’s going to be a surprise either way with who wins. 22 participants have been announced so far and to my count, there are 8 possible winners currently in the match with each person having an already built-in storyline.
Goldberg: He’s in this match because Stephanie McMahon asked him if he had one last title run left in him so I guess we’ll see.
Brock Lesnar: Brock Lesnar is always chasing gold regardless and Brock vs Goldberg has been tossed around so we could very well see it happen.
Chris Jericho: They clearly aren’t afraid to tease double champions and with Jericho on what will probably be his last run with WWE why not give him one more go with the main belt? They have to do Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho at some point anyway so why not on the grandest stage of them all vs his best friend? It’s a money match.
Braun Strowman: Strowman has been murdering the competition since the brand split and with his demand for better competitors this match is right up his alley. Strowman vs Reigns has been pitched as an Idea for Mania so it would make sense to have Strowman to dominate the Rumble and go onto the grandest stage of them all.
Baron Corbin: Corbin has been on fire as well and they have protected him heavily on Smackdown the last month or two so having him win would be a huge surprise and a refreshing thing to see a new star be born by having him win the Rumble.
The Undertaker: The Undertaker, despite having said this before, is most likely on his final run with WWE. Cena vs Taker has been a match rumored for years and this is the final year to do it. Having Cena win the WWE Championship and Taker win the Rumble would be an easy set up for the match to happen.
The Wyatt Family: Both Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt have chances to win this match. Orton vs Wyatt at Mania for the title has been a match rumored for a few weeks so it wouldn’t be surprising to see this. Having Orton win the Rumble and Wyatt win the Title at the Elimination Chamber would be a great story or go the new star route and have the opposite happen and make Bray Wyatt part of history and have him win the Rumble and Orton win the belt at the Elimination Chamber.
Here are exact predictions by the STF staff.
Justin F @Fitchett_is_Law: Kurt Angle will be in the Rumble and is undecided on a winner.
“Szabo” @BmSzabo: Samoa Joe debuts and Jericho is the winner.
Zach F: @thezy86: #1 will be Seth Rollins, #10 will be Tye Dillinger, #27 will be Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn will last the longest in the Rumble, The final 4 will be the Undertaker, Samoa Joe, Chris Jericho, and Dean Ambrose and the winner will be Samoa Joe.
Pete @repete617: Tye Dillinger, Samoa Joe, and U.K. Champion Tyler Bate will be in it and Undertaker will win.
Anabelle @AnabellePaul: Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, and U.K. Champion Tyler Bate will be in it and Finn Balor will win.
Brian: @PhillyPhour_: Chris Jericho wins.
Jesse I @jesseinman_: Kane will help Undertaker during the match, Shaq is in it to confront Big Show, Goldberg will eliminate Lesnar and make it to the final 4 alongside Undertaker, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton and Wyatt will cross Orton and win the Rumble.
Patrick C @TheCheeseAbides: The Final 4 will be Undertaker, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, and Sami Zayn with Jericho winning.
Colin D @UberTieGuy: #10 will be Tye Dillinger, Tyler Bate, Pete Dunn, Alexander Wolfe, and Eugene will be surprise entrants and Braun Strowman will win the Royal Rumble.
What are your predictions for the Royal Rumble? Who do you think will fill the 8 remaining spots in the Rumble? Who do you think will win the Rumble? Tweet me what you think will happen on Twitter @UberTieGuy and make sure to follow me while I live tweet the show.